The popular video app TikTok and the Chinese parent company ByteDance could face billions in damages over allegations that the company illegally stole the private data of millions of European children. Anne Longfield, the former Children’s Commissioner for England and also the “litigation friend” of an anonymous 12-year-old girl leading the class action, says that every child using TikTok since 25 May 2018 could have illegally collected private personal information from ByteDance through TikTok for the benefit of unknown third parties. The lawsuit also calls for the company to delete all of children’s personal information, pointing out that if successful, the damage could amount to “billions of pounds.”
The plaintiffs, who were advised by law firm Scott & Scott, accused TikTok of violating UK and European Union data protection laws by processing minors “data without adequate safeguards, transparency and without the consent of legal guardians or legitimate interests.”
A TikTok representative said that privacy and security were the company’s top priorities and that it had robust policies, processes and technologies to protect all users, especially teenagers.
The case is currently on hold while it awaits a ruling from the UK Supreme Court in a model case against internet giant Google for allegedly unlawfully tracking iPhone users in 2011 and 2012 through third-party cookies.
For more information read the original story in Reuters